Breaking down the action from the first two days of ESL Pro League Season 16 group A Day 1 and 2 recaps.
One of the most eagerly-awaited Counter-Strike: Global Offensive events of the year, ESL Pro League 16, began at last on 31 August. With 24 of the very best CSGO teams lined up to duke it out for $835,000 over a period of 33 days, the tournament is nothing short of exhilarating for any and all fans of the game.
Copyright: ESL/Adela Sznajder
The Group Stage, which — interestingly — is played one group at a time, is underway, and there have already been some exciting results in just the first two days. For those unaware, Group A contains Natus Vincere, Team Spirit, Team Vitality, Endpoint, Ninjas in Pyjamas, and Fnatic.
Group A Day 1 and Day 2 Results
The first day saw three clean 2-0 sweeps, with Na’ Vi taking out Spirit, Vitality beating Endpoint, and Fnatic demolishing NIP. The second day was much more competitive, with Spirit edging out Endpoint and Na’ Vi having to work for their win against Fnatic. However, NIP were once again beaten 2-0, this time by Vitality.
How the Group A Table Stands
Na’ Vi lead the way with two wins and a massive +27 in terms of rounds, with Vitality hot on their heels just 2 round wins behind. After their absolute destruction of NIP, Fnatic were able to serve up stiff competition to Na’ Vi but couldn’t go all the way. They lie in third place with a +9 round spread, 6 ahead of Spirit, who bounced back after their first day defeat to Na’ Vi to beat Endpoint.
ESL Pro League Season 16 – Recap
Here are short accounts of the Group A matches that took place in the first two days.
The proceedings began with Na’ Vi taking on Spirit. The former took Nuke by a comfortable 5-round margin, with Ilya “Perfecto” Zalutskiy carrying the team and undoing the efforts of Ihor “w0nderful” Zhdanov for Spirit. Next was Dust 2, and this time it was Valerii “b1t” Vakhovskyi doing the heavy lifting as the Ukrainian side cruised to a 16-9 victory.
Although the first match was relatively close, vitality vs Endpoint wasn’t very eventful either. Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut was far and away the best player on the server, dominating the opponents and helping his team to a 16-12 victory on Vertigo. The second map saw Vitality romp their way to an easy 16-5 win on Inferno, with In-Game Leader Dan “apEX” Madesclaire topping the charts.
If those two matches were 1-sided, the third was far worse. NIP were absolutely clueless on both Ancient and Overpass, losing 16-4 on both. Nico “nicoodoz” Tamjidi and Fredrik “roeJ” Jørgensen top fragged on the first and second maps respectively.
Spirit vs Endpoint was the battle of two mid-level teams that had plenty to offer. The first match was just Spirit stomping Endpoint 16-3 on Overpass. But the second match on Ancient went into Overtime with Boris “magixx” Vorobyev and Robert “Patsi” Isyanov battling the hardest against Endpoint’s Guy “Nertz” Iluz only to have the British team come out on top 19-17. As icing on the cake, the final map went into double Overtime, with Spirit closing it out 22-18.
The second game of the day saw Na’ Vi up against a Fnatic on the rise, and the latter actually took the first map, Ancient, 16-14, with William “mezii” Merriman and Roej shining for the three-time Major winners. Undeterred, Na’ Vi fought back with consecutive powerhouse performances to take Mirage 16-8 and Inferno 16-7, with Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev, Denis “electroNic” Sharipov, and Perfecto displaying imperious performances.
The final match of the day saw NIP go up against Vitality, and despite a desperate clawing back on Overpass after posting just 3 rounds on T side, NIP lost. The second game was a much more straightforward 16-8 on Vertigo. It was the usual suspect ZywOo starring in the first game, while newcomer Lotan “Spinx” Giladi led the way in the second.
ESL Pro League Season 16 – Analysis
It would take quite the mishap to prevent Vitality and Na’ Vi from qualifying, but whether Spirit can come back to take Fnatic out of the equation remains to be seen. Meanwhile, NIP will have some serious work to do on their T-side, with a total of five T rounds to their name in four matches. They can still mathematically qualify, but it would take a miracle for them to do so. Sadly for any British CSGO fans, there’s almost no chance left for Endpoint to go through.
We will be providing continuous coverage of Pro League 16 throughout its duration, so remember to tune in regularly.